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15 mins

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Christmas Cake - Rich Fruit Cake Recipe

Christmas Cake - Rich Fruit Cake

Rating 5-0 out of 5 - Most cooks definitely will make this recipe again

Recipe by  

No Christmas would be complete without Christmas Cake (or Rich Fruit Cake). With that delicious taste and smell of plump dried fruit and the fragrance of a generous hint of your favourite Christmas spirit, there's something special about a rich fruit cake that brings back childhood memories of warm kitchens and spicy baking.

Be sure to make your cake in plenty of time for Christmas, since it will taste better if you allow plenty of time for it to mature. (This rich fruit cake is equally good at Easter or for a wedding, birthday or other celebration!)

      Preparation Time: 45 Minutes + waiting

      Cooking Time: 2 Hours 30 Minutes

Ingredients for Christmas Cake - Rich Fruit Cake

If you are not familiar with any ingredients, please check our International Cooking Terms page.
US Imperial Measurements  UK Imperial Measurements  Metric Measurements

Currently displaying quantities in US Imperial Measurements
to serve about 20-25 slices:
3½ oz
glacé cherries
14 oz
14 oz
7 oz
¼ pint
brandy (or dark rum)
6 oz
6 oz
dark brown (turbinado) sugar (Muscovado or Demerara)
10½ oz
plain flour (all-purpose flour)
¼ teaspoon
1 teaspoon
ground mixed spice
7 oz
candied peel (or Italian mixed peel)
3 tablespoons
brandy (or dark rum)


How to Cook Christmas Cake - Rich Fruit Cake

  1. The day before baking the cake, halve the cherries then place them along with the raisins, sultanas and currants into a large bowl. Add ¼ pint (150ml) brandy or dark rum, stir well, cover and allow the fruit to soak in the alcohol overnight.
  2. The following day, finely grated the zest of the orange and squeeze the juice. Then, in a very large mixing bowl, beat together the margarine and sugar until it becomes light and fluffy. Beat the eggs then gradually beat them into the margarine-sugar mixture. Add the orange zest and juice (the mixture may curdle, but don't worry). Stir well.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt and mixed spice together, then fold it into the creamed cake mixture, using a metal spoon. Stir in the fruit and the candied peel and mix thoroughly.
  4. Grease and line an 8" (20cm) square cake tin with double thickness greaseproof paper. Turn the cake mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake in a cool oven (Mk 2 - 300ºF - 150ºC) for approximately 2½ hours. Check after 2 hours, covering the top of the cake if necessary with double thickness brown paper to prevent it from becoming too brown. (Try to avoid opening the oven door for the first two hours of baking - the cake requires a low, steady heat.)
  5. Test the cake with a fine skewer to check that it is cooked - it should come out clean and should not be sticky. Do this in the middle of the cake and check in a couple of other places, as moist fruit can also leave a sticky residue on the skewer. If the skewer comes out clean the cake is cooked. If not, cook for a little longer.
  6. Allow the cake to cool in the tin then spoon the extra 3 tablespoons of brandy or dark rum over the surface, letting it soak in. Wrap the cake in greaseproof paper, then store in an airtight tin for up to 3 months. Spoon a further 2-3 tablespoons of brandy or rum over the surface of the cake every couple of weeks to give an even more delicious flavour. Don't pierce the cooked cake before spooning the brandy or rum over it though - just let the alcohol soak through the surface of the cake.
  7. The dried fruit and alcohol content of your cake means that it will keep for weeks in an airtight tin, so don't feel pressurised into eating it all between Christmas and New Year! On the other hand.....

Avoid old ingredients that have been stashed away in the recesses of your kitchen cupboards, they will add nothing to the flavour of your finished cake. So out with the fruit and spice that's more than a year old, and in with the new.
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Reviews of Christmas Cake - Rich Fruit Cake

Rating 5 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again December 28 2014
My mother was into baking in a big way. Her rich fruit cakes were to die for, so it was with some trepidation that I embarked upon my own attempt. I needn't have worried. I followed you recipe to the letter and it came out absolutely perfect. My husband liked the idea of adding extra brandy at the end! This is a great recipe and I'll be using it again soon.
(4 reviews)

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